New Year resolutions come and go and many are broken before the first week of January is through. Lots of people set unrealistic targets or lack the motivation to carry through what seemed a good idea at a New Year’s eve party! However, if you are would like to achieve a healthier you in 2013, with minimum investment and commitment, consider these five simple health tips.
Go for your annual preventive health care check under the Affordable Care Act
Lots of women skip annual preventive health care checks but it is important to have these checks to avoid a potential, possibly life threatening, illness. Under the Affordable Care Act, many preventive checks are now covered at little or no cost to you. Services might include:
- mammogram screenings for breast cancer for women over the age of 40
- cervical cancer screening for sexually active women
- gestational diabetes screenings for pregnant women
- domestic violence screening and counseling for all women.
Affordable Care Act services may vary from provider to provider, so check locally for details.
Start a new skincare routine
Skin is the largest organ in the body but it is probably one of the most neglected organs and one which we take for granted. The skin is a waterproof layer that acts as a barrier against chemicals, dehydration, microbe invasion and physical traumas. However, it cannot carry out this protection without some attention to detail!
Skin requires cleansing, exfoliating and moisturizing to be in top health. Health tips for skin include both a new daily and weekly routine that includes the basics (such as cleansing and light moisturizing) each day and a more intense exfoliating and deep moisturizing treatment each week.
Make time for “me”
Me-time is lacking in most women’s lives as we struggle to take care of family, home and work. However, neglecting me-time leads to greater health problems as you become tired, worn out and stressed out. Do something once a week just for you and make sure everyone knows that you are unavailable during that time. It doesn’t have to be a lot or for any length of time – but it could change your health. Some ideas for me-time include:
- reading a book for 30 minutes at the end of the day
- taking a 20 minute walk
- taking a long soak in the tub.
Spend time with family and friends
Just as it is important to make time for me-time, its just as important to connect with family and friends on a regular basis. Social media and smart phones mean that we are in touch with friends and family on a more regular basis than a decade ago. However, face-to-face contact is just as important too. Enjoying a meal or social activity with family or friends once a week helps protects you mentally – and keeps you physically involved in people’s lives.
Start a new hobby or interest
A new hobby or interest can help to keep you mentally alert and motivated – in addition to the opportunity of making new friends and learning a skill. Depending upon your schedule, a new hobby or interest might seem just like another “chore” to add to your already long to-do list. However, you don’t have to make it complicated. Examples include:
- start a local evening class
- enroll in a distance learning class
- start a new hobby by educating yourself through books/friends
- exchange ideas about a new hobby/interest with a friend.
These simple health tips are not difficult to implement – and, in addition to protecting your health, who knows what you might discover in the process!
- Healthcare.gov website, Preventive Services Covered Under the Affordable Care Act, accessed December 26, 2012
- Waugh, Anne, Grant, Allison, 2001, Ross and Wilson: Anatomy and Physiology in Health and Illness, 9th Edition, UK: Churchill Livingstone